Shri Sathya Sai Baba
Sri Sathya Sai Baba was born as Sathyanarayana Raju on November 23, 1926 in the village of Puttaparthi, in the state of Andhra Pradesh in South India. Even as a child, His spiritual inclination and contemplative nature set Him apart from other children of His age, and He was known as ‘Guru’ among His peers and others in the village. However, it was not until October 20, 1940, the day He made the historic declaration of His Avatarhood, (Avatar - Divinity Incarnate).
Today, millions of devotees from all over the world, professing various faiths and from various walks of life worship Him as an ‘Avatar’, and an incarnation of the Sai Baba of Shirdi. Thousands gather every day at Prasanthi Nilayam, His ashram established beside the village of Puttaparthi, for His Darshan when He moves among devotees blessing them and providing spiritual succor and solace.
Revealing the purpose of His Advent, Sai Baba has said that He has come to re-establish the rhythm of righteousness in the world and repair the ancient highway to God, which over the years has systematically deteriorated. In His own words, “This Sai has come in order to achieve the supreme task of uniting the entire mankind as one family, through the bond of brotherhood, of affirming and illuminating the Atmic Reality (Atma – The Self) of each being, to reveal the Divine which is the basis on which the entire cosmos rests, and of instructing all to recognize the common Divine Heritage that binds man to man, so that man can rid himself of the animal and rise up to the Divine, which is the goal.”
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is an integral manifestation who combines two very significant roles. Firstly, He is a great spiritual Master, famed for His simple and sweet exposition of the greatest and most intricate of spiritual truths which form the fundamental teachings of all the religions of the world.
Elucidating on His mission, Bhagawan declares “I have come not to disturb or destroy any faith, but to confirm each in his own faith, so that the Christian becomes a better Christian, the Muslim a better Muslim and the Hindu a better Hindu.”
His formula for man to lead a meaningful life is the five-fold path of Sathya (Truth), Dharma (Righteousness), Shanthi (Peace), Prema (Love) and Ahimsa (Non-Violence). Love for God, fear of sin and morality in society – these are His prescriptions for our ailing world.
Secondly, He is an inexhaustible reservoir of pure love. His numerous service projects, be it free hospitals, free schools and colleges, free drinking water supply or free housing projects, all stand testimony to His selfless love and compassion for the needy and less privileged. True to His declaration - “My Life is My Message”, He has inspired and continues to inspire millions of His devotees worldwide by His personal example to live the ideal that service to man is service to God. The Sri Sathya Sai Organization today has a presence in over 167 countries in the world and members undertake group service activities that benefit their immediate community.
Who is an Avatar?
An ‘Avatar’ is defined as an incarnation (physical manifestation) of the Supreme Being. The word ‘Avatar’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Avataranam’, which means ‘descent’, and usually implies a deliberate descent of the Divine into the mortal realms to reveal the Absolute Truth to humanity and remind them of their true divine nature. Though Avatars may appear in different forms at different times, places and circumstances, yet they are all the manifestations of the One Supreme Lord.
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the Avatar of the Age, has succinctly explained the meaning and the reason for the descent of the Avatar in the following Telugu verse:
He says that Formless God takes a form and descends upon the Earth as an expression of His boundless love and affection towards humanity. The Avatar is an enigmatic, yet delightful blend of individual consciousness and the Divine Consciousness. The Avatar behaves in a human way so that mankind can feel kinship with Him, but rises to His supramundane heights so that mankind can aspire to reach those heights.
In Bhagavad Gita, Lord Sri Krishna, the Avatar of the Dwapara Age, declares thus:
Whenever there is a decline of Righteousness and rise of evil, the Lord incarnates from time to time to uphold Righteousness, to protect the Virtuous and to uproot the evil.
The Avatar appears whenever the world is passing through a spiritual and moral crisis. The Avatar comes in order to uphold Dharma (Righteousness) and raise the universal consciousness.
The Triple Sai Avatar
The Divine mysteries cannot be fathom by the human mind, unless God himself chooses to unlock them out of His immense love and compassion. Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, in a landmark discourse on 6th July, 1963, the Guru Purnima Day, declared the secret behind His advent. He revealed that Sai Avatar is triple incarnation of Shiva-Shakthi – Shiva as Shirdi Sai Baba, Shiva and Parvathi embodied as Sri Sathya Sai Baba and Shakthi Principle that will incarnate as Prema Sai in the Mandya District of the state of Karnataka.
Even in His childhood days, Swami used to refer to ‘The Saint of Shirdi’ in the songs that He taught His companions. Very few in that region had ever seen or heard about Shirdi or Sai Baba. Little did they realize that the child in their midst, singing and dancing so captivatingly would, in a few years, make their village another Shirdi to which hundreds and thousands would come seeking the same Baba!
Just prior to His shedding the mortal coil in 1918, Shirdi Sai Baba told some of His devotees that He would reappear in the Madras Presidency (today Andrah Pradesh State) in 8 years time. Sri Sathya Sai Baba, born in 1926, declared that He was Shirdi Sai Baba that has come again.
Sathya Sai Baba invariably refers to Shirdi Sai Baba as ‘my previous body’ whenever He speaks about Him. He often describes to His devotees, how He in His previous body dealt with people and situations, what illustrations He gave to clarify certain points, what questions were asked, etc. Many devotees of Shirdi Baba had experiences confirming the unity of the two Sais.
(Texts from the Web page www.sathyasai.org and reviewed by Trikaya)
Avatar Shri Sathya Sai Baba Paranirvana
On 24 of April of 2011, Sunday of Resurrection, at 7.40 h, Sathya Sai Baba left His body at the Hospital of Super-Speciality at Puttaparthi, His natal place, located in the State of Andrah Pradesh (India), after being hospitalized at the end of March with a multi-organ dysfunction. Since the day of His Paranirvana and until Wednesday 27, His body was exhibited at the Sai Kulwan Hall, at His ashram of Prasanthi Nilayam, in order to offer the opportunity to pay their last homage to the thousands of devotees who wanted to be present in these painful moments. On Wednesday 27, Shri Sathya Sai Baba was buried in the ashram with special Vedic rites, in a private ceremony that the nearly half million devotees who rushed to Puttaparthi could follow by big screens.
After knowing the new and in declarations to some Mass Media, the first Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, expressed on the same Sunday 24 his condolences for the death of Sathya Sai Baba, declaring that He was an inspiration for all the people of all faiths. He also remarked that Sathya Say Baba was a spiritual leader that had guided millions of persons to live a moral and meaningful life, even although they were following the religion of their choice.
Manmohan Singh also mentioned that the death of Sai Baba constituted an irreparable lost for all and for the entire nation. “I express my sincere grieve to the millions of followers, disciples and practitioners”, said the Indian First Minister in his message of condolence. “His teachings are established on the universal principals of truth, righteousness, peace, love and non-violence” Singh added.
The Vice-president Hamid Ansari and the leader of Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), L.K. Advani, also manifested their condolences, as well as the Governor of Punjab, Shivraj Patil, ardent follower, who said that “in His physical form he may not be there, but in his ideas and philosophy, in his capacity to love everything in the world and his going beyond the mundane things, he would always be there”.
It was on the 28 of March of 2011, when the sudden hospitalization of the Avatar Shri Sathya Sai Baba shake the entire world. Since then and day by day, millions of followers of the entire world offered prayers and devotional chants to propitiate the recuperation of the Avatar.
At the end of the XX century and in a few months, the hospital of Super-Specialities was built thanks to the financial support of the solemn donor Isaac Tigrett, who was the founder and director of the famous Hard Rock Cafe chain. The hospitalization of Shri Sathya Sai Baba at the Hospital of Super-Specialities brought to India eminent doctors of different countries, who gathered at the hospital to treat the peacemaker that was putted on Shri Sathya Sai Baba, who during days was also assisted by artificial respiration and distressed by complications on the lungs, liver and kidneys.
Although in numerous occasions the Avatar explained that He was not the body, Trikaya presents the prayer composed some years ago by His Holiness the XVIII Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje in honour to Sathya Sai Baba, to encourage to all the practitioners to use the occasion to send wishes of peace to the world. In this manner, this prayer should be treated with respect and veneration and can be incorporated at the end of the pujas and orations at the different Ashram, Monasteries or Dharma Centres.
Bhagawan Shri Sathya Sai Baba Eternal Prayer
Composed by His Holiness the XVII Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje and translated by Khenchen Konchok Gyaltsen Rinpoche.
By the truth of deities the Protector-Brahma and so forth,
And the power and ability of the Virtues,
May the Guru´s life be long and stable,
And may the world be pervaded by the light of Dharma.